Two recall efforts against Oregon state legislators over their votes in favor of a background check law have come up short, and a third has been dropped, according to organizers. But a fourth campaign, targeting one of the bill’s lead sponsors, is still in progress.
Gun-rights activists in Oregon Senate District 4 have until September 4 to gather the 8,415 signatures required to force a recall election for the seat of state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, according to The Oregonian. Earlier this year, Prozanski cosponsored Senate Bill 941, a law requiring background checks on gun sales or transfers between individuals. The bill narrowly passed the Oregon legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown on May 11.
“The bill infringes on the 2nd amendment rights of Oregonians to bear arms,” the petition reads.
Three other recall petitions were filed in April, and faced deadlines on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Campaigns against Sen. Chuck Riley and Rep. Susan McLain both failed to collect the number of valid signatures required to trigger a recall election, reported an organizer on Monday. A post on the website RecallChuckRiley.com appeared to confirm the news, saying the campaign had been “out-spent and out-maneuvered,” pledging to donate its remaining funds to the effort to recall Prozanski.
Meanwhile, Jason Thiesfeld, a gun store owner and organizer of a separate effort to recall House Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle, announced last week that despite having gathered “more than enough” signatures, he had withdrawn his petition following Hoyle’s announcement that she is stepping down from her leadership position to explore a run for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016, according to the Eugene Register-Guard.
Hoyle does not plan to resign from the House. “Knowing that she will not be in the House leadership,” wrote Thiesfeld in a post on Facebook, “gives me the confidence to withdraw my petition and not put the citizens of our state, district, and county through the expense or turmoil of a recall election.” In another post several days later, he also urged supporters to “donate time and money” to the Prozanski recall.
The recall drives resemble similar efforts in Colorado in 2013, in which two state senators were successfully recalled following the passage of a series of stricter gun laws. But they differ in one major way: Activists in Colorado received substantial backing from the National Rifle Association, while the efforts in Oregon have received none.
“Though we attempted to contact them and gain support through phone and email,” said the post on the RecallChuckRiley.com, “no support was ever returned.” The campaign said it did receive support from the Oregon Firearms Federation, which bills itself as “Oregon’s Only No Compromise Gun Rights Organization.”
[Photo: Flickr user Mortimer62]